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Health IT Execs To Boost Spending In 2011

Qualifying for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive funds is driving most hospital CIOs to increase their budgets and staff, found HIMSS survey.

Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety
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Slideshow: Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety

IT executives were also asked to disclose how much money their organizations would receive for meeting Stage 1 meaningful use requirements. Only 1% of respondents reported that they would not receive incentives in Stage 1. The below list identifies how much money organizations anticipate they will receive for their investment.

-- Less than $2 million: 16%
-- $2 million to $3 million: 12%
-- $4 million to $5 million: 16%
-- $6 million to $7 million: 9%
-- $8 million to $9 million: 8%
-- $10 million or more: 20%

The remaining 18% of respondents either preferred not to disclose the level of money they expected to receive or did not know the amount.

The report also revealed that 76% expected increases in their organization's IT operating budget, up slightly from last year's 72%, but a significant increase from 2009's 55%. And 64% said they anticipated an increase in the number of IT staff. However, the lack of budget and staff are major barriers to IT implementation, according to respondents: lack of adequate support for IT was named by 18% (although down from 24% a year ago), barely eking out a lack of staffing resources (17%).

"Although spending levels are up after a dip a few years ago, respondents worry that lack of staffing could be a barrier to successful IT implementation, which is particularly concerning in light of the obvious increasing need in the next few years," HIMSS chair Harris observed.

Other HIMSS 2011 leadership survey results relating to the impact of health IT include:

-- Electronic Health Records: Fifty-three percent of respondents said they have a fully operational EHR in at least one facility in their organization, up from 48% last year.

-- ICD-10: Nearly half of the respondents (48%) reported that implementing the CPT-10/ICD-10 coding system was the top area of focus for financial IT systems at their organization.

-- Health Information Exchange: Forty-five percent of respondents indicated that their organization participates in at least one HIE in their area; 31% say they have not yet planned to participate in an HIE, down from 41% in 2010.

-- Security: About one-quarter (26%) said their organization has had a security breach in the past 12 months, similar to 2010 (23%).

-- Patient Care: Among a list of choices indicating in which area IT can have the biggest impact on patient care, 41% named clinical and quality outcomes, up from 37% in 2010.

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